Contract Disputes

As many of you are aware, on April 28, 2021, the Government of Ontario responded to calls from members of the public and public health experts by introducing temporary paid sick leave to Ontarians in an attempt to curb the transmission of COVID-19. The Minister of Labour and Minister of Finance introduced the Bill called Bill...
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Many entrepreneurs begin their business with family members or friends who share a particular interest or skill set. In doing so, they often focus all of their attention growing their venture and forget the importance of reducing their agreement to writing. Many entrepreneurs may be surprised to find out that if you do not describe...
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There are a number of reasons why an employer may have to terminate one of their employees, especially during the ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The employee-employer relationship is based on an agreement between the two parties. It is important for employers to understand that this relationship is, in essence, a subset of...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the courts and legal counsel to utilize videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom. Thanks to videoconferencing, it is no longer necessary for persons to attend appearances in person. Although, videoconferencing has its benefits and downfalls, we anticipate that the courts will continue to use virtual appearances for years to come. In...
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All employees have an implied duty of good faith not to disclose confidential information or trade secrets; this duty is owed regardless of whether there is a non-disclosure clause in the employment contract. The law does not usually prohibit employees from using the skills and knowledge that they acquire from a past job to a...
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The Supreme Court case Bhasin v. Hrynew is a landmark case that imposed a common law doctrine of good faith on parties to a contract, which requires them to act honestly in performing their contractual obligations. In Bhasin v. Hrynew, Mr. Bhasin was a director of the Canadian American Financial Corporation (“Can-Am”). He was very...
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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to understand how you may end up in a contract litigation dispute and how to avoid these problems in the future. On October 7, 2020, Walker Law presented a webinar on contract law disputes, specifically to provide a synopsis of contract law cases applicable to...
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Last Thursday, Tanya Walker and Jordan Koenig of Walker Law presented a webinar to provide updates on how the pandemic has impacted employment law. Just hours after the webinar, the Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Employment, Carla Qualtrough, made an important announcement regarding changes to Employment Insurance (“EI”) and the introduction...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty and has changed the way that we do business in the foreseeable future, especially when negotiating agreements. Many individuals feel the stress of negotiating during this time because of the uncertainty, a lack of alternatives, and general inequality in bargaining power. As a result, parties need to be cautious...
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In July 2020, the Ontario Court of Appeal released two decisions that commercial landlords should be aware of as they impact notice requirements for breach of a lease and the consequences of a landlord for improperly terminating a lease.
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Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a great deal of uncertainty and concern regarding the matter of safety in the workplace. In mid-March, Ontario declared a State of Emergency and all non-essential businesses within the province were ordered to close on March 24, 2020.
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On Friday, May 29, 2020, Ontario’s government issued Regulation, O.Reg 228/20, under the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”). Its most significant effects have to do with the options that are available to employers with regard to terminating or laying off its employees due to COVID-19-related reductions in business and the rights of employees to sue for...
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The COVID-19 health pandemic has had a significant impact on all industries. However, there are a number of changes that are unique to the construction industry. On March 16, 2020, the Ontario government declared that all limitation periods for proceedings would be suspended.
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Much like the reception that greeted ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft when they first entered Toronto’s marketplace, there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the short-term housing rental economy ever since apps like Airbnb gained popularity in the city. Supporters of Airbnb and other forms of short-term housing rentals argue that they...
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Since the beginning of 2020, the world has been concerned about the Novel Coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause influenza-like symptoms in humans. An interesting characteristic of Coronaviruses is that they are “zoonotic”, meaning they can be transferred between humans and animals. In December of 2019, a number of cases of...
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Legally speaking, workers are generally classified into different categories. These classifications have very significant implications on a number of rights that workers are entitled to.
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The federal government recently implemented a number of changes to the Canada Labour Code which largely favours federal employees in certain industries such as banks, fisheries, telecommunications, and interprovincial transportation companies.
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The Pattersons hired “Joe Inc.”, a general contractor, to renovate their ground floor bathroom, kitchen, and front entranceway. As the project progressed, the Pattersons noticed a number of defects in the general contractor’s work. However, when they complained, nothing was done to resolve the problems.
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As a result of the large number of new housing and condominium projects, many Ontarions are taking advantage of the opportunity to purchase a newly-built home.
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If you are undergoing home renovations with a contractor or you are a contractor, you should note that effective October 1, 2019, several provisions under the construction law which is called the Construction Act (the “Act”) will come into force and will fundamentally change how contractors request payment from property owners.
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Many people are surprised at the conclusion of their lawsuit when they receive a bill from their lawyer that is much higher than they expected. If you receive a bill from your lawyer that you believe is unfair, there is a process in place to address your concerns called an assessment hearing.
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  According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average price of a condominium apartment in Toronto was $558,728 in Q4 2018. This is a sizeable investment.
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  On June 7, 2018, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives were elected. Since that day, the provincial government has been moving swiftly to pass and amend laws.
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Ontarians are spending vast sums of money renovating and repairing their residential properties. A 2017 report published by the Altus Group indicates that Ontarians spent $24.1 billion on alterations, improvements and conversions while an additional $7.5 billion was spent on repairs. Behind each repair and renovation is a contractor.
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Whether purchasing a commercial or residential property, the prevailing law is “buyer beware.” In other words, as a buyer, you must make appropriate inquiries about the property to discover any important information in order to satisfy yourself that the property is suitable for you.
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  As an employer, it is critical that you are aware of your obligations to your employees to avoid potential human rights or wrongful termination lawsuits by current or former employees on the basis of discrimination.
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If you are a business or service provider who asks consumers to purchase a warranty along with your product or service, beware.
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The Rental Fairness Act (the “RFA”) is part of Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan, a strategy released in April 2017 to provide stronger protections for tenants and promote affordable housing in Toronto. The RFA has recently made several changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) that have significant consequences for both landlords and tenants. Below we discuss two important...
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  Many companies offer reward points programs to thank customers for their loyalty.
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Managing employees is a common challenge for many business owners. Even a single employee can have a significant impact on your business’ success, particularly if you are running a small enterprise.
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Given the significant growth in condominium ownership in recent years, we have often wondered why a specialized board or tribunal has not been created to deal with disputes between condo boards, managers, and owners.
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In May, we wrote an article about changes to housing laws in Ontario which aimed to make housing in the province more affordable to buyers and renters.
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On April 20, 2017, the Government of Ontario made some ground-breaking changes to the housing laws of the province related to home ownership and tenancies. The new plan is intended to make housing in the province more affordable for buyers and renters alike. Below are some of the key aspects of the plan: Rent is...
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Ever signed a contract and now you want to back out? You may need to consider that a Court may hold you responsible for failing to complete the contract.
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This week’s post discusses settlement agreements (a type of contract) and how they’re interpreted by the courts. Often times, parties will attempt to revise a deal after its agreed upon by trying to insert new words or meanings that aren’t present within the four corners of the document. This is rarely a good idea.
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Last month I described the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants; this month’s column discusses the rights and responsibilities of hotels and their guests.
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The year 2016 brings with it exciting new changes and importantly – new laws.
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An unfortunate reality in litigation is that lawsuits often pit one family member against another.
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As a commercial litigation lawyer, most of the cases I deal with are based on breach of contract. The key issues for the judge to determine are: a) was there a contract; b) how should the contract be understood (what was each party required to do); c) was the contract breached or violated; and d)...
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You’ve owned your home for several years and it’s time for a new look. You draw up plans, get estimates, hire a general contractor and eagerly await the splendour of your newly-renovated home.
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In our final article addressing franchise law we will discuss how an individual or company involved in a franchise agreement on behalf of the franchisor, or brand owner, can be held personally responsible for damages suffered by a franchisee, or individual location owner.
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Last month we discussed how franchise disputes can be resolved from the perspective of the franchisor. This month, we consider the options available to the franchisee.
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This next series of articles will examine specific legal issues, beginning with an examination of dispute resolution in the field of franchise law.
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